I promise, I haven’t forgotten about you! I haven’t been brewing as often simply because my equipment has been tied up aging bigger beers. I brewed this beer back on September 21 and have let it condition. With IPA, I’m typically grain to glass in about 2 weeks. This beer was pushing 5 weeks, which is still quick comparatively speaking.
Here in Michigan, we have a great brewery known as Dragonmead. They produce an amazing Tripel known as Final Absolution. I believe it to be their flagship. I had one of these (first time in a long time) and totally forgot how awesome this is. I’ve never done a Belgian beer. Truthfully, I’m not overly fond of the style. A good brewer has to open their horizons. Perhaps I can make something that I would enjoy more than the normal offerings. In that, perhaps others can enjoy it too. I’m a big fan of taking something and making it your own. I try to do that with a majority of my beers. I want somebody to sip something and, without a doubt, know that it’s something that I produced.
After much research, parsing through homebrewtalk (my username is RuckusZ28), and asking brewers in my club I landed on a recipe. For me, the esters in the Belgian beers make it for me. I’m going to try to maximize the esters through underpitching and cranking the temperature during fermentation.
Belgian Candi Syrup (clear)
Michigan Maple Syrup (added at FO)
WLP500 Trappist Ale
Using RO water for my mash I did a protein rest at 140F for 15 minutes in my brew kettle before transferring the mash my tun for a rest at 150F for 60 minutes. I mashed out at 168F and then completed a batch sparge for 20 minutes at 168F. The brew day was uneventful. Following the boil I added the Candi Syrup and some freshly tapped local Michigan maple syrup to my kettle. I hit my target gravity of 1.091.
I allowed the beer to sit in primary for 3 weeks and would agitate the carboy every week. On the third day of fermentation, I turned the temperature up to 70F. On the sixth day, I raised the temperature to 72F. On day eight, I ceased temperature control and allowed the beer to rest at ambient room temperature of 64F. At week 4, I racked the beer to secondary and cold crashed. We finished at 1.017 weighing in at just over 10%abv. The beer was then racked to the 2.5 gallon serving keg and allowed to carbonate for 3 days at 25psi / 40F before taking a pull.
The maple really did darken this one up more than expected. Though no maple flavors come off, you can definitely tell that this has some serious adjuncts in it! The nose is of candy and fig with a twitch of alcohol. The head dissipates quickly though the beer is sufficiently carbonated. Upon tasting, you are greeted with a burst of fig, plum, prune, with a slight burn finish. This is mighty tasty and also quite dangerous. I wouldn’t mess around with more than 1 of these at a time.
The plan here will be to enjoy this for a week and then bottle the remains of the keg for cellaring. I’ll periodically check in with these as they age.